Swertia Chirata

Swertia chirayita is a medicinal plant indigenous to temperate Himalaya. Its medicinal usage is reported in Indian pharmaceutical codex, the British and the American pharmacopoeias and in different traditional systems of medicines such as the Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. The plant is used as a bitter tonic in treatment of fever and for curing various skin diseases. S. chirayita has an established domestic (Indian) and international market, which is increasing at a rate of 10% annually. The plant available in the market many a times is adulterated and substituted by close relatives of chirata. This article briefly reviews the botany, pharmacology, biochemistry, market demand and trade of the plant. This is an attempt to compile and document information on different aspects of S. chirayita and highlight the need for research and development.

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